Texas diocese suspends Fort Worth priest following arrest for online solicitation of a minor

By ENS Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of Texas has suspended the Rev. Jason Myers, who had been serving as associate rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, after he was arrested and charged with online solicitation of a minor. The charge is a felony when it involves attempted sexual contact with a person younger than 17.

Myers, 43, was arrested by deputies of the Collin County sheriff’s office on April 11, according to news reports.

The Rev. Robert F. Pace, Trinity’s rector, said he first learned of Myers’ arrest when an investigator in the sheriff’s office contacted him on April 12, according to an April 13 email sent to parishioners and friends of the parish.

Upon hearing of the arrest, Pace informed Texas Bishop Andy Doyle, who suspended Myers under the Title IV disciplinary canons of the church. This prevents Myers from functioning in any capacity as an Episcopal priest during the duration of the legal proceedings. He also cannot have contact with anyone in the congregation.

Pace said that Myers and his family will have pastoral support during this process.

The church does not have any reason to believe that anyone in the congregation or its preschool has been harmed, he said, but noted “there is much that we do not know or understand, and we have many questions that cannot yet be answered.”

Anyone in the congregation who wants to share information about the case was urged to contact the diocese’s intake officer for clergy misconduct complaints, local law enforcement or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Noting that “this situation comes as a shock,” Pace was available in the parish hall after the 9:30 a.m. worship service on April 14 for anyone who wanted to talk or pray.

He closed his email by inviting parishioners to join him in prayer for all involved. “We pray for all children and adults who have experienced harm. We pray for our parish family. We pray for Jason’s wife and their children. Please also pray for Jason.”

The Episcopal Church in North Texas, formerly the Diocese of Fort Worth, and the Houston-based Diocese of Texas merged in 2022.